more-arw search

Q&A Forum

Accounting for a small press or indie publishing

I dabble in a little creative writing when I'm not working at my full-time job. I'm wanting to take my writing to the next level, but I'm looking for some direction. Does anyone on Proformative have experience working within the publishing industry, irrespective of big, small, or indie publishing? I'm curious as to what accounting software is best to track revenue, expenses, and inventory where applicable. Helen Sedwick is an attorney in California and has published a lot of information on the industry from a tax and legal standpoint. I think the financial piece, however, can go deeper when someone is wanting to set up an actual small press. What should someone consider before becoming a bookkeeping service for authors?


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |


If you are self publishing, then any accounting system will do (simple inventory). If you get a publisher, again any accounting system will do (they will send you royalty statements).

Believe it or not, publishing (like most) is a very simple business.

War Stories - Enterprise System Implementation Wars

Topic Expert
Barrett Peterson
Title: Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis
Company: TTX
(Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis, TTX) |

You can use any simple accounting application - cloud or sitting on your computer - for your own operation. Providing a service to others will likely be aided by the ability to transfer files electronically to/from you. QuickBooks has such a capability in the Accountant's Edition, but is not the only option. You will want to ensure your ability to bill for your services, and provide tax reporting for your business, and for amounts transacted with your clients.

Susan Boles
Title: Accounting Consultant
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Accounting Consultant, Tier One Services, LLC) |


You might check out Xero - it's a pretty intuitive/user friendly cloud-based accounting system. It has some nice features for freelancers (like Xero Taxtouch which is an app to help freelancers track expenses). It also has an extensive library of add-ons which allow you to pick and choose the features you need. For example, if you need more extensive inventory tracking capabilities, you can link to an inventory add-on. Want more extensive reporting? Link to a reporting add-on service. Xero is inexpensive and easy-to-use - lots of businesses can operate completely within Xero without even having to use any add-ons.

Products and Companies

Get Free Membership

By signing up, you will receive emails from Proformative regarding Proformative programs, events, community news and activity. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact Us.

Business Exchange

Browse the Business Exchange to find information, resources and peer reviews to help you select the right solution for your business.

Learn more

Contribute to Community

If you’re interested in learning more about contributing to your Proformative community, we have many ways for you to get involved. Please email to learn more about becoming a speaker or contributing to the blogs/Q&A Forum.